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Juchau, Valentine awarded $100,000 Charles Perkins Centre fellowships

Author Mireille Juchau and playwright Alana Valentine have been awarded Writer in Residence fellowships at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.

Both writers will receive $100,000 and will spend a year based at the centre ‘alongside researchers and clinicians who are looking for integrated solutions to ease the burden of obesity and chronic disease’.

Juchau will use the fellowship ‘to research inherited trauma in epigenetics and the concept of the “doubled body” in pregnancy’, which will ‘underpin a novel exploring contemporary life through the idea of the double’.

‘Recent work in epigenetics suggests one generation’s experiences of trauma might return in the bodies of those not yet born,’ said Juchau. ‘This extraordinary and eerie concept raises intriguing questions about how much we control our destinies.’

Valentine will work on a play ‘inspired by the Greek myth of Cassandra, whose dire warnings were disastrously ignored’, which will ‘draw on the revelations from visionary scientists about their struggle to have their findings about metabolic syndrome, a collection of health conditions that often occur together and increase the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, heard and believed’.

‘I’m going to spend a year holding up a mirror to scientists at the Charles Perkins Centre and its satellite hubs and uncovering the psychological impact of the nutrition wars,’ said Valentine.

The Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence fellowship was established in 2016 to give ‘creative writers the opportunity to explore the issues under examination at the Charles Perkins Centre—to ease the burden of obesity and chronic disease in Australia and abroad’.

The inaugural fellowship was awarded to Charlotte Wood, who is writing a novel ‘responding to the way the elderly are depicted in literature and mainstream culture’.

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Category: Local news